This summer I attended the Illustration Masters Class in Amhurst, MA. It is a fantastic opportunity to paint alongside some of the best fantasy artists in the business. During this week in June, one of the guest artists was circulating through our room and he commented on my sketchbook. I have a very “sketchy” quality to my drawing. Now, that’s not a bad thing but it is something that I would like to improve. The fact is that I usually drawing things out in pencil. I’m very tentative about my lines and as a result, I make numerous short lines as I am trying to find my drawing.
In order to work on this I developed a plan at the IMC. I was going to work on my hands. Hands can be difficult to draw. They are expressive and add a lot to a painting as faces and hands are key elements to show emotion. In part, my goal was to get better at drawing hands from a lot of different angles.
I also decided I would be working in Ink. Most of the time, it was my brush ink pen. I’ve also used my Pilot G-2 ink pens at times. By drawing in ink, it forced me to think about my mark making process. These pens had no erasures. Some of my hands, were less than perfect. When I made a mistake, I could sometimes correct it by using shadows, or putting in a dark background on the outside of the hand. Sometimes the hands just looked bad.
One of the things I learned while doing this was to imagine the line before I made the mark. It became more common as I did this. I could almost see a ghost image before I made my mark. This forced me to develop a confidence in my drawing. Doing a regular drawing in ink is a great experience and I recommend that you try it if you don’t do this sort of drawing.
Coming up with enough hand references was also fun. I made my own board on Pinterest called “Hands”. Photos of hands, drawings of hands. Hands with jewelry, casts, and wearing armor. Pinterest is often my source for reference materials. I have a lot of boards, for costuming, food, and for art reference. Over 8000 pins last time I checked.
This project is now done. I’m going to start working on some illustration to prep for Inktober and some practice work for some watercolor work. I hope you’ll still follow me along.